Heavyhands Walking, which is walking while pumping power or balancing small weights with your hands, was introduced in the 1980s in Dr. Schwartz’s first book, “Heavyhands – the ultimate exercise,” published in 1982. Five years later , Rodale Press published the follow-up book. , “Heavyhands Walking,” which focused more on walking exercises and expanded discussions of the underlying research and development, energy used, and calories burned. Both books are available in libraries or on the used book market. Chapter two of the second book, “Why Heavyhands Walk?”, Alone justifies the purchase of this book.

The author begins with an agreement that walking is good exercise. The downside is that few people can or will walk at a pace fast enough to reap real fitness benefits. Research has shown that carrying weights increases workload. The problem here is that a significant addition of weight is needed to reach the desired work levels. This led to the conclusion that part of the problem was due to the lower body being expected to do most of the work. Upper body muscles represented an underutilized resource.

This led to the invention of Heavyhands. The first heavy hands were small 2- to 5-pound dumbbells. By employing wide hand and arm movements along with upper body bending, benefits comparable to running, swimming or rowing could be obtained. All this with walking, an activity available for a wide range of ages, body types and fitness levels. As an added bonus, walking was an activity that required no special skills or instruction.

The use of small dumbbells has some disadvantages. There was a potential safety hazard if the weights slipped from the user’s grip. Flying weights take something away from the carefree enjoyment of group exercise. Long periods of use can cause hand cramps. The problem was solved with specially designed handles with a strap to go through the back of the hand.

The design also provided other benefits. The first was psychological. The new handles felt better and with the addition of the padded hand strap they just looked and were great. The new design also included threads at the end of the handles to allow quick addition and change of weights. Specially designed Heavyhands weights were available from two to ten pounds. People with widely varying fitness levels and goals can walk and exercise together, and each person can maintain their own intensity level.

The book emphasizes that we are not talking about carrying weights. The goal is the total exercise of the whole body. Get a copy of this book at any of the major online bookstores. Weights are back online and in the sporting goods store. A quick search will take you to the source for everything you need. Start. Get healthy.